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Sampling variability: some observations from a labour supply equation

  • Daniel Gordon
  • Lars Osberg
  • Shelley Phipps

In economics, the number of observations available for empirical work is often predetermined. Researchers assume some large sample distribution and carry through with measurement and testing applied to data sets of varying sizes. The consequences of sampling variability are generally ignored. It is shown in a re-sampling experiment, using data sets of different sizes and estimating log-linear male labour supply equations, that a wide range of what appears to be statistically supported estimates of the wage elasticity of labour supply are generated. Testing based on bootstrapped estimates shows that 4000 observations are required to reduce sampling variability to statistically acceptable levels.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 37 (2005)
Issue (Month): 18 ()
Pages: 2167-2175

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:37:y:2005:i:18:p:2167-2175
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  1. Osberg, Lars & Phipps, Shelley, 1993. "Labour Supply with Quantity Constraints: Estimates from a Large Sample of Canadian Workers," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(2), pages 269-91, April.
  2. Thomas Mroz, . "The Sensitivity of an Empirical Model of Married Women's Hours of Work to Economic and Statistical Assumptions," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 84-8, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  3. Alice Nakamura & Masao Nakamura, 1983. "Part-Time and Full-Time Work Behaviour of Married Women: A Model with a Doubly Truncated Dependent Variable," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 16(2), pages 229-57, May.
  4. Gordon, Daniel V, et al, 1994. "Predicting Probabilities: Inherent and Sampling Variability in the Estimation of Discrete-Choice Models," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 56(1), pages 13-31, February.
  5. Kahn, Shulamit & Lang, Kevin, 1991. "The Effect of Hours Constraints on Labor Supply Estimates," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 605-11, November.
  6. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1980. "Unemployment as Disequilibrium in a Model of Aggregate Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 547-64, April.
  7. Nakamura, Masao & Nakamura, Alice & Cullen, Dallas, 1979. "Job Opportunities, the Offered Wage, and the Labor Supply of Married Women," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 787-805, December.
  8. Fran├žois Bourguignon & Thierry Magnac, 1990. "Labor Supply and Taxation in France," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(3), pages 358-389.
  9. Phipps, Shelley, 1990. "Quantity-Constrainted Household Responses to UI Reform," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(399), pages 124-40, March.
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